Chapter 5 Summary

When Ponyboy wakes up, he keeps his eyes closed and tries to pretend he is still back at home with his brothers. After a while, he faces reality and opens his eyes. The church is empty, and a note says Johnny has gone to buy supplies. Ponyboy sits alone and feels increasingly spooked by his situation and surroundings until Johnny returns.

The boys know the police must be looking for them, so Johnny insists on cutting and bleaching Ponyboy’s hair. Hair is an important part of Ponyboy’s identity as a greaser, so at first he resists cutting it. Johnny points out that the police will make the boys cut their hair if they get caught, and Ponyboy reluctantly lets Johnny play barber with a switchblade. When the job is done, Ponyboy hates his appearance. He thinks he looks like a weak little kid. Ponyboy cuts Johnny’s hair as well.

After the haircuts, the two boys sit miserably together. They both cry—Johnny because he is sorry for taking another boy’s life and Ponyboy because he is scared and overwhelmed by everything that has happened. Eventually Ponyboy goes to sleep. When he awakes, he announces that neither he nor Johnny is going to cry anymore, and Johnny agrees.

Ponyboy and Johnny spend the next several days chatting, smoking, playing poker, and reading Gone with the Wind aloud. Johnny thinks the southern gentlemen are a lot like Dallas. Ponyboy is surprised by the comparison, though he has long known that Johnny idolizes Dallas. When Ponyboy protests that Dallas has no manners or charm, Johnny says he once saw Dallas allow himself to be arrested for a crime Two-Bit had committed. “That’s gallant,” Johnny says.

On the boys’ fifth day in the abandoned church, Dallas arrives. He says he has thrown the police off the boys’ trail by saying they went down to Texas. He gives Ponyboy a letter from Soda. It says that Darry feels terrible about hitting Ponyboy and the trouble that has happened since.

That afternoon, Dallas takes Ponyboy and Johnny out to lunch. He explains that the Socs and greasers are now at war. Socs keep jumping greasers all over town, and boys on both sides are going to hold a rumble, a mass brawl, the next day. If the greasers win, the Socs will stay out of the greaser side of town for good. At the end of the conversation, Dallas adds casually that the greasers have a Soc spy—the friendly girl Ponyboy met at the movies, Cherry.